Area preps for cold blast

The calendar reads that it is nearly summer, but the temperature in some areas leading into Memorial Day Weekend would suggest otherwise.

The National Weather Service in Charleston issued a freeze warning for Friday night into this morning for many counties in the area, including Randolph, Pocahontas, Tucker, Webster and Nicholas, as well as a frost advisory for Upshur, Lewis, Barbour and several counties west of Interstate 79.

Forecasters predicted temperatures in the upper 20s and lower 30s around the area, with potentially colder conditions and heavy cloud cover.

“The worst of it should be over by 7 a.m. Saturday morning,” said Nick Webb, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service.

But how does one prepare for the sudden, and hopefully final blow of cold weather? According to information from the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, which was provided by West Virginia University Extension Agent Ronnie Helmondollar, the key is “providing some protection from the elements.”

Covering plants to protect them from frost and cold conditions is the most effective way to care for them. Suggested coverings include cloth sheets, glass jars or paper cups.

Due to poor insulation, potted plants or those in containers are more vulnerable to damaging temperatures and should be moved indoors during cold spells.

For people to protect themselves from the dropping temperatures, it is important to dress in layers, said Rochelle Sutton, a public health nurse at the Barbour County Health Department.

“It is particularly important for children and the elderly to cover their heads and feet when outdoors,” Sutton said. “People with respiratory illnesses are also susceptible to cold temperatures.”

Sutton also stated flu vaccinations are still available until June 30.